Brand new, hot off the press freshness from Deepchord and Soultek's Echospace hookup, following the epic "The Coldest Season" album for Modern Love, and a recent twelve for their eponymous imprint - a twelve that sold out in a matter of hours. "Sonorous" finds us in the dense thicket of dub reduction, the endlessly reverberating bounce of layered echo/chords drenched in machine-made fuzz and all the melancholy it entails. The chiming melodic phrasing counterbalances the percussion perfectly, making for one of Echospace's most perfectly formed, quietly propulsive pieces to date. the "Version" on the flip is even more widescreen, the layers stripped back to a bare-bones alignment that allows you to fill in the gaps where the melody once was - an epic reduction that makes most dub techno you'll have heard this year seem vacuous. Extremeley limited pressing - Hurry to secure a copy.
Clearly happy with the recent success of the Echospace and Modern Love releases, Rod Modell and Steve Hitchell (Soultek) are delivering their hyper-limited 12”s at a rate that’s becoming veritably prolific. Their latest on UK label Fortune8 retains the deep, dubby sound of The Coldest Season, but nudges it away from the glacial towards the reggae-oriented rhythms of ‘Empyrean’.
The first side is a gently percussive mix by cv313 aka DeepChord, aka Rod Modell. With beats more wooden than padded, and a relatively busy, clipped bass, Modell has crafted warm ambient percussion that gives way periodically to structureless washes. It’s an intimate piece of music that brings you into its confidence with a nonchalant groove. The ‘version’ mix verges into tick-tock reggae, with a (relatively) tightly coiled rhythm and sensual basslines that build imperceptibly until a delicate drop opens briefly out into quiet plains. The illusion of momentum and suspension are both there, in the head-nodding timelessness, but it’s (relatively) cut and dry, exchanging the cavernous grottos and grand gestures of the Modern Love for something almost upbeat.
Modell and Hitchell have delivered a less thunderous slab of vinyl than might have been expected, but it makes sense in terms of their partnership – they’ve brought us in from the cold to a warmer, less shadowy place closer to the equator reflecting a shift towards Hitchell’s Jamaican dub influences.
4/5 -Resident Advisor
Once I got lost in the jungle on the island of Hawai'i. Me and my dad were hiking on the side of a volcanic crater when we decided to take a shortcut up the side. This all happened around sunset as a light drizzle of rain came down. Our "shortcut" was no more than a small animal path that we assumed was a cut through between trail switchbacks. It just led to more jungle at the top of the crater wall. This album is like that moment, where an island jungle comes alive as the sun sets. Will Long